Mexico City: Old Meets New - United Hub

Mexico City: Old meets new

By Bob Cooper

Mexico City is a spicy blend of old and new, with excavated Aztec ruins in the shadows of a skyline where half of the tallest buildings have arisen since 2014. The city boasts a lively culture, more museums than most European cities and a world-class restaurant scene. For all these reasons, North America's largest city has landed near the top of world travelers' must-see lists.

Aerial view of Mexico City

Monuments, museums and murals

Mexico City explorations logically begin at sprawling Zocalo Square, where the Mexican flag is ceremonially raised and lowered daily. The square is in the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, near North America's largest cathedral and the National Palace. Inside the palace, Diego Rivera's stunning tableau of 400 years of Mexican history occupies 4,800 square feet of wall space, a project that took him six years to complete. It's one of several places in the city where Rivera's art shines. If you're a fan, be sure to check out the nearby Diego Rivera Mural Museum as well as the impressive art of his wife, Frida Kahlo, at the Frida Kahlo Museum (also known as the Blue House).

Aztec attractions

Templo Mayor (Great Temple) was the center of the Aztec world in the ancient capital of Tenochtitlan. Since it was discovered right next to Zocalo Square in 1978, the extensive subterranean ruins and companion museum have become a big attraction. Additional Aztec ruins are seen on bus tours to the ancient city of Teotihuacan, just outside Mexico City. Highlights there include the Pyramid of the Sun—nearly as wide and about half as tall as the Egyptian pyramids—and the Pyramid of the Moon. Yes, you can climb them, and explore the Aztec ruins of seven palaces nearby.

Mayan Temple at Anthropology Museum - Mexico City, Mexico

Bosque de Chapultepec

Like most world cities, Mexico City has an exceptional city park, Bosque de Chapultepec. The most impressive building is Chapultepec Castle, a hilltop fortress erected for a Spanish viceroy who never occupied it. It now serves as the National History Museum. Also in and around the park, twice the size of New York City's Central Park, is a zoo, a botanical garden, a lake with rowboat and paddleboat rentals, an amusement park, two modern art museums, the Water Garden Museum (showcasing several Diego Rivera murals) and the National Museum of Anthropology—arguably Mexico's best museum, worthy of a half-day visit.

Cuisine and Cervezas

Mexico City has emerged as a major culinary destination, led by restaurants such as Pujol and Quintonil, ranked 20th and 22nd in the world. (The only other city with two restaurants ranked that high: Paris.) Both are located in the upscale Polanco district. The trendy Condesa district and artsy Roma district are also home to many outstanding restaurants serving Mexican and fusion fare, as well as great shopping and nightspots. Or you can just relax at an informal cantina on any commercial street to enjoy quesadillas and cervezas with a televised soccer game or Mexican music as entertainment.

Busy downtown Historic Center street in Mexico City

On the boulevard

Paseo de la Reforma is a grand boulevard that slices diagonally through Mexico City, from the old city center to Bosque de Chapultepec. Broad and handsome, it's lined by tall statues and monuments, taller trees and even taller modern high-rises. Clogged with traffic the rest of the week, it changes character on Sundays, when most of it is closed to vehicles until 2 p.m. That's when tens of thousands of walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists take it over—a treat for locals and tourists alike.


Mexico City is safer than many U.S. cities, so don't let movies about cartels that operate elsewhere in Mexico keep you away. The subway system is also quite safe—and the fastest and least expensive way to get around the city. Buses and Uber are also good transportation options. Just don't rent a car, as the traffic is insane. Good hotels are about $50/night; excellent hotels are about $100. Once you've checked in, allow ample time to take in the sights as the 7,400-foot altitude encourages a relaxed pace.

The Royal Chapel at the Gardens of National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico

If you go

United Airlines offers flights to Mexico City from several U.S. cities and MileagePlus® Rewards can help pay for your hotel room once you arrive. Go to or use the United app to plan your Mexico City escape.

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Celebrating immigration perspectives and diverse journeys

By The Hub team, September 25, 2020

From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the U.S. celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to pay tribute to the history, culture and contributions that generations of Latinxs have paved to enrich U.S. history. It is also a reminder to celebrate our differences and spark difficult, yet important, conversations.

To kick off the month, UNITE, our multicultural business resource group for employees, did just that by hosting a panel discussion about the immigrant experience and what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S.

United Litigation and Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, who is a pro bono immigration attorney, moderated the panel, and was joined by Ashley Huebner, Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Magdalena Gonzalez, Program Manager, Leadership Development Programs at Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement. The three women shared their insights and personal stories, while addressing some misconceptions and highlighting the contributions of immigrants to our company and country.

Participants' headshots from United's Hispanic Heritage Month Panel From left to right, Elizabeth Lopez, Ashely Huebner and Magdalena Gonzalez

"I started to notice that there were things I was scared of doing, that I needed to be cautious," said Magdalena while sharing her personal experience as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. "My friends, who a majority of them are citizens, did not need to worry about that. As I was able to see that, I realized that, 'oh, there's so many things that revolve around not just being a DACA recipient but revolve around being a person with an undocumented status here in the United States.'"

United maintains a close relationship with the NIJC. In May of 2019, United co-hosted an asylum clinic put on by the legal services organization, where several attorneys and legal professionals were trained on representing asylum-seeking applicants. At the end of the clinic, members of our legal department were assigned an asylum case through the NIJC.

Litigation Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, Commercial Transactions Counsel Tiffany Jaspers, Global Compliance and Ethics Counsel Nancy Jacobson and Employment Litigation Senior Manager Dorothy Karpierz were partnered with attorneys from the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery to take on an immigration case of a mother of three from Honduras. Recently, after a years-long court battle, the legal team was victorious, changing the life of the woman and her family.

United is committed to connecting people and uniting the world. Whether you're an immigrant, a child of immigrants or simply want to learn more about the immigrant experience in the U.S., discussions like these, related to this hot-button issue, are important to have in order to understand the human lives behind it.

Make your voice heard

By Brett J. Hart, September 22, 2020

Your voice matters. Voting is one of the most influential civic activities we can engage in as Americans. At United, our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. That's why we've long provided our employees with resources to help them get registered to vote.

This year, we're taking our support a step further as the official airline of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Since the start of the pandemic, we've overhauled our cleaning measures through a program we call United CleanPlusSM , and the CPD has placed their trust in United to fly Commission production staff to each of the four debates, starting with the first one on September 29, hosted by Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we also want to make sure our customers have access to information about how to participate in the 2020 Election. Over the past several months, you've heard a lot from us about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed air travel. We've learned that with some planning and extra effort, it's still possible — and safe. That's true of voting, too.

No matter which party you support or how you're planning to vote, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and make a plan to vote.


Brett J. Hart
United Airlines

United named to Year Up Opportunity Hall of Fame

By The Hub team, September 17, 2020

Since its launch 20 years ago, Year Up, one of our critical needs grant recipients, has helped more than 10,000 young adults gain access to corporate business and technical experience at large companies like United while offering the invaluable perspectives they bring with them.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit inducted United into its Opportunity Hall of Fame – a selection that occurs once every five years.

Year Up's mission is to help close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Since 2018, our partnership has allowed talented student learners the opportunity to gain corporate business experience and technical skill training at the airline while bringing their unique perspectives to our United family and culture. One of those students is Emily Lopez, who graduated from the Year Up program in January 2019 and was hired to be part of the United family as an analyst in Revenue Management.

"I moved from Venezuela to the United States in July 2016 and being a young immigrant with no resources can be difficult to pursue a career in a new country," said Emily.

After learning about Year Up and ultimately being accepted into the program, Emily landed an internship with United, an opportunity she is very grateful for.

Emily Lopez - Analyst, Pricing & Revenue Management

"Feedback from my mentors, coaches and managers was key during my internship phase and helped me convert my internship at United to a full-time position. I am grateful for the opportunity United has provided me and my Year Up Alumni colleagues to keep building a professional career within the company. I am so excited to continue building a professional career with the company and to see United being inducted to Year Up's Hall of Fame. Let's continue closing the opportunity divide!" said Emily.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has made this year's partnership a bit more difficult, we continue to do our part to support the Year Up student learners. Last month, we surprised 145 graduates of this year's Year Up Chicago program with roundtrip tickets to pursue career and networking opportunities within the United States.

"I've been personally honored and inspired to be an advocate for Year Up since I joined United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "This program gives young people from challenged backgrounds an opportunity to get their foot in the door as interns at United. This year's graduates are entering a challenging job landscape, but we have one thing that can help: a route network that provides easy access to major business markets across the United States."

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